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Evaluation and Legal Theory

By: Julie Dickson
Media of Evaluation and Legal Theory
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Published: 05-06-2001
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 160
ISBN: 9781841130811
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Legal Theory Today
RRP: £27.99
Online price : £25.19
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Loren Epson

About Evaluation and Legal Theory

If Raz and Dworkin disagree over how law should be characterised,how are we, their jurisprudential public, supposed to go about adjudicating between the rival theories which they offer us? To what considerations would those theorists themselves appeal in order to convince us that their accounts of law are accurate and successful? Moreover, what is it that makes an account of law successful? Evaluation and Legal Theory tackles methodological or meta-theoretical issues such as these, and does so via attempting to answer the question: to what extent, and in what sense, must a legal theorist make value judgements about his data in order to construct a successful theory of law? Dispelling the obfuscatory myth that legal positivism seeks a 'value-free' account of law, the author attempts to explain and defend Joseph Razs position that evaluation is essential to successful legal theory, whilst refuting John Finnis and Ronald Dworkins contentions that the legal theorist must morally evaluate and morally justify the law in order to properly explain its nature.

The book does not claim to solve the many mysteries of meta-legal theory but does seek to contribute to and engender rigorous and focused debate on this topic.

Table Of Contents

1. What's the Point of Jurisprudence?
2. Introducing the Moral Evaluation Thesis
3. Indirectly Evaluative Legal Theory: Meeting Finnis' Challenge
4. Finnis and the Moral Justification Thesis
5. The Beneficial Moral Consequences Thesis and an Introduction to Dworkinian Methodology
6. What's the Point of Law? Dworkinian Methodology and the Argument from Law's Function
7. Carrying on the Conversation


“The critical discussion proves to be rich and analytical legal theory of the type described by Dickson would be of considerable assistance to legal theorists in other disciplines.” –  Brian Burge Hendrix, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence Vol. XVI, No.2

“Evaluation and Legal Theory explores issues that are every bit as foundational to the study of law as set theory is to the study of mathematics. Also, Dickson does it with all the virtues that have been exemplified by other efforts in the area: clarity, depth, intellectual rigor, creativity, and subtlety....this book deserves a careful reading, not only from theorists in the field, but also from other legal academicians.” –  Kenneth Einar Himma, The Law and Politics Book Review

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